Literature by Period

In the West we have what is called a teleological view of history. That means that the scope of human civilization and events, from its earliest time till now, is actually going someplace. Whether that place is Ragnarok, Armageddon, the New Jerusalem, or an alien apocalypse depends on which worldview you're espousing, but it's hard for people with European heritage to think in terms of the circularity of history, or that history is going nowhere, just on an on and on into the infinite future.

As Christians, we believe history is on its way to Christ. That may be a little simplistic, but ultimately God has ordered and guided history according to His will for it, and its completion is entirely in His hands....but only after the intended progression of events has been completed. If this is true, history can be seen, not merely as endless repetition, but as a line drawn between point A and some as yet indistinguishable (from a human perspective) point B.

The literature of any period, therefore, can only be understood by the particular historical stage and cultural context in which it was written. If history isn't stagnant, literature can't be either, and any writer is going to reflect (consciously or unconsciously) the attitudes prevalent around him. If you didn't know Cervantes was mocking the "courtly love" and chivalric ideals of Medieval Europe, Don Quixote wouldn't make near as much sense. A lot of Shakespeare's references are to cultural customs he witnessed. Charles Dickens includes so many scenes of social injustice because the England of his day was rife with oppression and mistreatment.

This intersection of history and literature isn't one-directional. To really understand history, it's essential to read the literature of the day. Sure, a history book published last year about the Roman Empire might yield plenty of good information, but reading Caesar's Gallic Wars will not only offer a firsthand perspective, it will also reveal a lot of contemporary attitudes most historians find it difficult to capture. A list of similar examples would require several books, and believe me, they exist.

We've chosen specific periods as categories both to reflect the generally accepted important literary and historical epochs, and based on how many books from each period we carry. If your favorite period isn't immediately recognizable on the list, you might just have to look a little deeper—for instance, we don't have a category for books written in China during the Boxer Rebellion, but that doesn't mean we don't have books that meet that criteria. Okay, we don't, but we have plenty of other titles representing the full scope of literary history from the ancients to the postmodern age.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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386 Items found Print
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1984
Signet Classics
by George Orwell
from Signet Classics
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$8.49
2001: A Space Odyssey
by Arthur C. Clarke
from ROC Science Fiction
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.79
Abraham Lincoln: Great Speeches
Dover Thrift Editions
by Abraham Lincoln & John Grafton, editor
from Dover Publications
Political Philosophy for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$1.70 $1.20 (2 in stock)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.10
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Bantam Books
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.06
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Dover Thrift Editions
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$4.25
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Penguin Classics
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Penguin Classics
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$7.65
Aeneid Of Virgil
by Virgil
from Bantam Books
for 10th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: MLIT-ANC)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop
from Signet Classics
Fairy Tales & Fables for 10th grade-adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: MLIT-ANC)
$5.06
Agnes Grey
Penguin Classics
by Anne Bronte
from Penguin Classics
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$10.20
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Penguin Classics
by Lewis Carroll
from Penguin Classics
Fantasy for 5th-8th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$9.35
All Creatures Great and Small
James Herriot Series Book 1
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$14.44
All Quiet on the Western Front
by Erich Maria Remarque
from Ballantine Books
War/Realistic Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$5.94
All Things Bright and Beautiful
James Herriot Series Book 2
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-12th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$14.44
All Things Wise and Wonderful
James Herriot Series Book 3
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$14.44
All's Well That Ends Well
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$5.09
All's Well that Ends Well
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
for 10th grade-adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$2.98
And Then There Were None
by Agatha Christie
from HarperCollins
Murder Mystery for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.79
Animal Farm
Signet Classics
by George Orwell
from Signet Classics
Utopian/Dystopian Literature for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$8.49
Anna Karenina
Signet Classics
by Leo Tolstoy
from Signet Classics
Realistic Fiction for 11th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$6.76
Annotated Milton
by John Milton
from Bantam Books
for 11th-Adult
in 17th Century Literature (Location: LIT4-17)
$5.91
Anthem
by Ayn Rand
Expanded 50th Anniversary from Signet Classics
for 11th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.79 $5.50 (1 in stock)
Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates
Signet Classics
by Patrick Henry & John DeWitt
from Signet Classics
American Political Philosophy for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$6.76
Antigone
Dover Thrift Editions
by Sophocles
from Dover Publications
Ancient Tragedy for 9th-Adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: MLIT-ANC)
$2.55 $2.00 (2 in stock)
Antony and Cleopatra
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Historical Tragedy for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$2.98
Antony and Cleopatra
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Simon and Schuster
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$5.09 $3.00 (1 in stock)
Apologia Pro Vita Sua
Dover Giant Thrift Editions
by John Henry Newman
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$4.25
Arabian Nights I
Signet Classics
by Anonymous, Richard Burton (Translator), Jack Zipes (Adapter)
from Signet Classics
Eastern Fairy Tales for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$8.46
Arabian Nights II
Signet Classics
by Anonymous, Sir Richard Burton (Translator), Jack Zipes (Adapter)
from Signet Classics
Eastern Fairy Tales for 9th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$7.61
Arthur
Pendragon Cycle #3
by Stephen R. Lawhead
from HarperCollins
Celtic Fantasy for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$6.79
As You Like It
Dover Thrift Editions
by William Shakespeare
from Dover Publications
Comedy for 9th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$2.55
As You Like It
Folger Shakespeare Library
by William Shakespeare
from Washington Square Press
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$5.09 $4.00 (1 in stock)
As You Like It
by William Shakespeare
from Oxford University
for 10th-Adult
in Renaissance & Reformation Literature (Location: LIT3-REN)
$8.46
Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Dover Thrift Editions
by Benjamin Franklin
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in Biographies (Location: O1A-BIO)
$3.40 $2.50 (4 in stock)
Avalon
by Stephen R. Lawhead
from HarperCollins
for 10th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Ball and the Cross
by G. K. Chesterton
from Dover Publications
Allegory for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$8.46
Ben-Hur
by Lew Wallace
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.95
Ben-Hur
Signet Classics
by Lew Wallace
from Signet Classics
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$7.61
Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings
Signet Classics
by Benjamin Franklin
Reprint from Signet Classics
Autobiography for 9th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$5.06
Beowulf
Dover Thrift Editions
by Anonymous (translation by R. K. Gordon)
from Dover Publications
Medieval Epic for 8th-Adult
in Medieval Literature (Location: LIT2-MED)
$2.13
Billy Budd
Signet Classics
by Herman Melville
from Signet Classics
Realistic Nautical Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$4.21
Black Arrow
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Signet Classics
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.91
Book of the Dun Cow
by Walter Wangerin Jr.
from HarperCollins
for 8th grade-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$14.44
Brothers Karamazov
Signet Classics
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
from Signet Classics
Russian Epic Novel for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$6.76
Brothers Karamazov
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Reprint from Bantam Books
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$6.79
Bulfinch's Greek and Roman Mythology
by Thomas Bulfinch
from Dover Publications
for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.10
Bulfinch's Mythology: A Modern Abridgment
by Thomas Bulfinch
from Laurel-Leaf Books
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$6.79
Call of the Wild
Dover Thrift Editions
by Jack London
from Dover Publications
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$2.55
Candide
by Voltaire
from Dover Publications
for 11th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
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